The coronavirus pandemic has taken lives and our sense of normal life
There is a real sense of the post-Christmas period, returning to work after lockdown - you know the one - that feeling where you don't know what day of the week it is, everything is upside down and you are eating everything you can get your hands on (once you have queued outside the supermarket of course).
All cemetery, crematoria and funeral staff have been working above and beyond, with very little rest and no end in sight for at least seven weeks now [at the time of writing] and I just want to take this opportunity to thank my team at Lambeth. We are a small team and we cover Lambeth Cemetery and Crematorium, Streatham Cemetery, West Norwood Cemetery and Crematorium, public health funerals for the borough and manage our own Simple Funeral package without the need for a funeral director.
We are cremating, digging graves, answering phones, collecting deceased, managing referrals from nursing homes, and now an exhumation - and that is just this morning.
I have been able to implement a system to allow for rest and respite, but as we all know in this industry even before we were reacting to a pandemic - the work never stops.
The bereavement services officers have risen to the challenge magnificently, both Rose Thompson and David Walden.
The team in the crematorium - Joseph Adamczewski, Stuart Mackay, Andrew Smith and Fred Young are working with sheer dedication to ensure all mourners are safe at the services.
The burial team have worked together to offer as many burials as we can in a day and dealt with all of the changes, plant issues and gate work with true diligence - Oslen Kelman, Barry Plaistow, John Rourke and Alfie Smith.
The bereavement supervisors are going above and beyond to keep the service running, and to jump into any gaps in the wider team without any complaint - Richard Delves, Brendan Fisher and Sam Greenman.
This is a sincere thank you to all of you - from me, from Lambeth and from the families we care for.
Jacqueline Landy, Bereavement Services Manager